Ellis Arthur Harms

April 23, 1926 ~ July 31, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old

Ellis Harms Obituary

llis Arthur Harms, 97, of Paradise, CA, passed away on July 31, 2023 in Sacramento, CA. Born on April 23, 1926 to Parke and Sarah Harms in Salkum, Washington, he grew up on a dairy farm with sisters Joyce and Vivian. After graduation from Mossyrock High School, Ellis attended the University of La Verne in Southern California and was very active in the Drama and Music departments, where he met Arlene Johnson, who would become his loving wife of almost sixty-seven years. Their early years of marriage were spent living in Ojai and Moorpark, California while Ellis established himself in the field of Education before moving to Paradise, California to become the Principal of Paradise Elementary School, where he would spend nearly thirty years of his career as a successful and well-respected administrator. Together they would raise three children -- Gale, Neil, and Dawn.

Outside of work, Ellis led an expansive life. He continued to engage in many creative hobbies, and never lost his sense of curiosity and love for learning new things. Whenever he met someone new he wanted to get to know them, finding a way to make the conversation about them, not himself. An avid gardener, landscaper, painter, and potter, he participated in many art shows in the Chico/Paradise area, as well as Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ellis always took interest in and encouraged other artists' work.

A man of God, he devoted his time, money, and energy to the Paradise Methodist Church while maintaining his curiosity about different religions, often visiting other churches and buildings of faith. A long-standing and dedicated member of the church choir, Ellis' love of music continued throughout his life. He and Arlene were true patrons of the arts.

Ellis, along with many of his beloved friends and family, lost his home of 60 years that he designed and helped build, in the devastating Camp Fire of 2018. After the fire, Ellis moved to Carlton Senior Living in Sacramento with his wife Arlene, who passed away in January of 2019. At Carlton, Ellis was well-loved, making new friends and living life to the fullest, until his death on July 31st, 2023.

Ellis is survived by daughter Gale Staub (Russ) of Paradise, son Neil (Julie) of Citrus Heights, and daughter Dawn (Amy Duxbury), of San Francisco. He leaves behind three grandchildren, Casey Harms (Sam), Chris Harms and Kellen Staub. Ellis is also survived by his younger sister, Vivian Davis (Bob) of Ethel, WA.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday August 26th, at 2:00 p.m. at the Paradise Methodist Church located at 6722 Clark Rd., Paradise, CA. A supper/reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ellis' memory can be made to Theatre on the Ridge, P.O. Box 13, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise, CA 95967 or made online at


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Memorial Service
August 26, 2023

2:00 PM
Paradise Methodist Church (Clark Rd)


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